Integrated super resolution fluorescence microscopy and transmission electron microscopy

Sajjad Mohammadian, Alexandra V Agronskaia, Gerhard A Blab, Elly G van Donselaar, Cecilia de Heus, Nalan Liv, Judith Klumperman, Hans C Gerritsen

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In correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM), the capabilities of fluorescence microscopy (FM) and electron microscopy (EM) are united. FM combines a large field of view with high sensitivity for detecting fluorescence, which makes it an excellent tool for identifying regions of interest. EM has a much smaller field of view but offers superb resolution that allows studying cellular ultrastructure. In CLEM, the potentials of both techniques are combined but a limiting factor is the large difference in resolution between the two imaging modalities. Adding super resolution FM to CLEM reduces the resolution gap between FM and EM; it offers the possibility of identifying multiple targets within the diffraction limit and can increase correlation accuracy. CLEM is usually carried out in two separate setups, which requires transfer of the sample. This may result in distortion and damage of the specimen, which can complicate finding back regions of interest. By integrating the two imaging modalities, such problems can be avoided. Here, an integrated super resolution correlative microscopy approach is presented based on a wide-field super resolution FM integrated in a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). Switching imaging modalities is accomplished by rotation of the TEM sample holder. First imaging experiments are presented on sections of Lowicryl embedded Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells labeled for Caveolin both with Protein A-Gold, and Alexa Fluor®647. TEM and FM images were overlaid using fiducial markers visible in both imaging modalities with an overlay accuracy of 28 ± 11 nm. This is close to the optical resolution of ~50 nm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113007
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


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